The political developments in the past years in the Eastern Neighbourhood showed that CSOs need to be enabled to react rapidly to changes. The EU has therefore established a "Rapid Response Mechanism" to enable fast reaction to changes in the policy debate and/or political landscape. It foresees support to CSOs in the form of low value grants, of up to 60 000 EUR, to be awarded through direct award, subject to fulfilling the conditions defined in Article 190 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 of 29 October 2012.
This mechanism has been designed to respond to unexpected changes in the political or policy environment in partner countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood, including sudden restrictions on civil society space, where the programming of other support through the bilateral envelope of the ENI, or the publication of a call for proposals would be inadequate to ensure a quick reaction.
Funding from the Rapid Response Mechanism will be used to implement initiatives which fulfil the following criteria:
- The action refers to a specific policy area in which an unexpected political or policy change has occurred, and/or which requires a swift reaction, in order to pursue an important policy issue, to increase public awareness, contribute effectively to public debates on critical governance issues, and/or scale up targeted advocacy efforts. Such changes may relate to all policy areas, notably those under the EaP priorities or to sudden restrictions on civil society space. Coordination and input into the work of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum may represent a specific case.
- The Rapid Response Mechanism foresees the funding of actions implemented by CSOs with a proven track record of action on a particular governance issue, ad-hoc coalitions of CSOs (or particular extensions of advocacy work conducted by established coalitions, networks and platforms), CSOs having proven citizen support for a particular advocacy idea and public policy think tanks based either in the European Union or in one of the Eastern Partnership countries, with a track record on policy work aimed at EU policy in the Eastern Partnership.
- The conditions for direct award as defined in Article 190 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 must be fulfilled. It is expected that most grants will be awarded for actions fulfilling point (f), requiring a particular type of body on account of its technical competence, its high degree of specialisation or its administrative power.
- The maximum amount for the individual grants will not exceed EUR 60 000.
The following cannot be financed under this mechanism:
- Actions with the sole objective of building the capacity of a CSO or of individuals.
- Actions with a duration exceeding 12 months.
The award process will be managed by the EU Delegation.